Advice From a Celebrity Wedding Planner To Get You Inspired During Lockdown - Freya Rose

Advice From a Celebrity Wedding Planner To Get You Inspired During Lockdown

Have you had to postpone your wedding due to Covid-19 Coronavirus? Here is some expert advice from a Celebrity Wedding Planner to help get you inspired...

Penelope Cullen is Tigerlily Weddings’ creative director who describes herself as a storyteller. With a curious nature and a passion for people & design she embarked on telling her clients love stories creatively and unforgettably through their celebrations. Having established Tigerlily Weddings' in 2007, Penelope has travelled the world designing weddings for her clients, from intimate gatherings for 10 to festival style weddings for 500.  

Her real weddings and editorial work have been featured in Martha Stewart, Magnolia Rouge, Bridal Musings, You & Your Wedding and Wedding Sparrow, and in 2012 she was handpicked by The Times to be their Royal Wedding columnist writing a 10 week series called Regal but Real! The Tigerlily ethos is synonymous with producing exceptional wedding experiences that reflect the essence of their clients, something Penelope say is achieved by working in close collaboration with other talented creatives to craft the perfect details and moments.

Thank you Freya and welcome, it’s so lovely to have this opportunity to share my top 5 wedding planning tips with you all…  

1: It’s all about your new journey

Of course, you and all of your loved ones are heartbroken that you have had to postpone your wedding day… But your wedding is still happening, and your loved ones are still so very excited to be celebrating The Big Day with you at a later date! 

So, I am helping couples get Wedding Re–Enthused

As Freya Rose mentioned earlier it is a great time to either set up or revisit your wedding website and share with everyone your new wedding journey

  • Share what wedding planning tasks you are managing while at home through a weekly online journal – making guests feel connected to you and your new plans
  • You can also reach out to your family and wedding party and get them involved in wedmin tasks, like information gathering on suppliers you may still have left to book, hotel and travel research, wine pairings with your wedding menu 
  • For those creative couples amongst you, who are designing elements within their wedding design you can reach out to your creative and crafty friends who can join you in the fun of the design for your wedding, think designing stationery,  hand finishing details you may have for your wedding – Wedding Cake - Think design outsource
  • Also, for your amazing Wedding Party you can add an introduction to each member and their roles they play on the big day  

2: It’s all about The Guests…

Guests care and experience is so important, so via your wedding website you can really hone the ultimate wedding experience for them 

Create a list of your personalised recommendations for your guests –think your very own wedding Concierge service

 You can cover topics like 

  • Travel to – during – after the wedding – offering a range from private to public travel options – Wedding end of night travel options

Local knowledge  

  • Hotels for guests - covering a range of budgets and tastes
  • Activities to do before and after the wedding in the local area
  • Favourite restaurants locally to explore
  • Support services – Hair artists & salons – Makeup artists – Nail Parlours – spas, Dry cleaning – babysitting services and dog walking services for those pooches attending but hotel bound on the wedding day
  • Outline of the order of the wedding day – so they can plan ahead
  • RSVP option – making it nice and simple for them 
  • Wedding menus and dietary requirements
  • Choose your ultimate track that will make you hit the dancefloor 

 Your guests will feel extra loved and super special…  

3: It’s all about The Design…

So, are you ready to get Wedding design Re-Inspired?

One of the most amazing things about having more time to plan your wedding is letting your inner designer loose and create something beautiful, and totally unique that reflects you as a couple and your love story. 

The world of wedding design can seem noisy and a slightly intimidating place; with a myriad of ideas and stunning images on Insta and Pinterest, and so many talented people showcasing … Don’t get caught up on how to recreate someone else’s wedding… Really look at what you love about the image and what it makes you feel and explore this. 

So where do you begin your authentic design journey? So many couples begin mood boarding and never really have the time to explore design and the creative process so they create a wedding design that isn’t truly unique or reflective of them.  So, now is  the perfect time for you to take some time out and really think about your wedding design, the details you love, what to include within your day and what each detail means to you, and how you want your wedding to feel! 

You can be bold; super creative the possibilities are endless so give yourselves time to consider but remember be yourself, and create what really feels like you.

  • I advise you start to streamline the ideas and inspiration from your original wedding design and colour palette, that you really love… so re-visit your Pinterest boards and reassess and cull the boards and only keep the images that make the new design cut!
  • Begin to create and cultivate your new wedding vision and have an intentional design. Remember your venue sets the scene and I all advise you work with the venues colour palette. So zone and think about the venue areas you are using within your day, then hone design details that are meaningful to you, This may be a majestic ceremony aisle, or the wedding dining tables, or the smaller details like wedding stationery that your guests get to hold – Really think about each and you can define your couple style and aesthetic
  • Think about traditions and heritage and what is meaning for you and your families and include it within your day
  • Establish your priorities and design budget, think about all the wedding design details needed as part of your wedding day and add this into a shopping list – then allocate your spend – covering -  furniture hire, lighting, florals, linens, stationery, wedding cake and so on and how these details work as whole
  • If you are over budget… Really consider each design element and its impact! Where will it be placed within the different spaces of your venues, consider the light, architecture and colour palette of each space and how the design works within the space and accentuates it within the whole day. So, think lay outs and placement and become a visualiser of the space so you can communicate your wedding design 
  • Once you have a shortlist of your design items and their importance and placement within your day you can also analyse how to create the most wow and impact!  Are there items you can re -use from the ceremony to re dress another space say the evening bar?  
  • Also reach back out to your wedding professional team and share your new ideas and mood board, they can share their ideas, design skills and help you shape your wedding vision and design to the next level 

So, enjoy!  

4: It’s all about The Wedmin 

 So, while home you have the perfect time to research, research, research…

And be super productive. You would never would have had this amount of time to do this and it is so lovely for you both to take time to make really meaningful decisions.

So, to keep your momentum why not

Speeches, reading and dance

Get ahead of the curve and start writing your speeches and thank you’s - you can always tweak at a later date.

Also explore the unknown… search online for poems, readings and wedding ceremony music so your union is magical… There are lots of really popular readings but why not find something that really excites you… You can read some of my alternative recommendations here:

Take virtual dance lessons  - Check out youtube – and also companies like or who can recommend online instructors to help you get first dance ready!


It is so important to think about the musical back drop of your day – and how you build the mood & energy throughout your wedding.

So make a list for all the different musical interludes within your day

Most of my couples will have

  • Guests arrival to the ceremony venue
  • The ceremony
  • The reception
  • The background music for the wedding breakfast
  • Post dinner cocktails 
  • And then The Party 

Don’t forget to have a playlist for your Chill areas and after party…

Over the years I have devised so many amazing playlists with my couples and Spotify is amazing for compiling all of your lists for throughout your day, you can also share and develop with your Band – DJ – and add your wedding guests recommendations to create the perfect playlists 

My go to DJ and music guru is Matt Maurice Matt runs an amazing boutique event music agency in London and has an amazing array of talented DJ’s covering all music genres. He has also has played at many of my clients weddings crafting the ultimate musical backdrops for their wedding days. 

So I caught up with Matt to ask him a few questions to help you with crafting your playlists. 

Matt music throughout a wedding day to manage the energy & mood is so important, what tips would you give to a couple to ensure they get the tone right on their wedding day?

For the wedding breakfast, I would always recommend a big upbeat anthem for the bride and grooms entrance to the room. The song played should be one that represents you both as a couple, played very loud and from when you enter until you reach your seats. Once the dust has settled, background music is a must and played at a level just enough to fill in any silence, create ambience and at a level so as guests can easily converse with one another. We provide clients with a choice of playlists for this in various styles to set the mood; we’re also happy for clients to provide the playlist for this. 

What tips would you give a couple for planning the ultimate party dancefloor play list with their DJ when they have a mix of ages and genre loves between them?

For the evening party, if you want a packed dance floor, it's always a good idea to also be mindful of your guest's musical tastes too. To play the music that just you like doesn't generally work, especially if your tastes are a little more eclectic. Choose music that'll have a universal appeal. Providing your DJ with a request list of around 40 tracks is ample, and I would always recommend that apart from the first few and last songs, it's a good idea to let your DJ have the flexibility in when particular tracks and genres should be played and to add some of their own tried and tested floor fillers to help mix your ideas altogether. These are skills attained from many years of playing music, so I would always recommend choosing a DJ that has wide-ranging experience from all types of events and venues and not just weddings. If you want to add a live element to the party, both a saxophonist and percussionist are a great addition and will play over your DJs set.

What are your top 5 dancefloor fillers?

With so many tracks to choose from, here are five tracks that generally have a broad appeal spanning all ages.

Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes – Don’t Leave Me This Way (A Tom Moulton Mix)

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams

Gala – Freed From Desire

Daft Punk – One More Time

Earth Wind & Fire - September


Thank you Matt… 

I also recommend for the close of the wedding you choose 3 super uplifting tracks so the last 15 minutes of your wedding ends on a high! And also don’t forget to add a do not play list for those tracks that just don’t make you smile!  

Formal Wedding Shoot List 

It’s a great time to think about your formal shoot list and who you are including and where you would like these images to be taken at your various wedding locations. You can start shaping your formal list and share with your wedding photographer to get their advice and guidance on managing this shoot within your wedding day. I also advise my couples not to have more than 8 to 10 formal group images and to always have two photography helpers to assist your photographer, you can read my advice here: 

Assemble your perfect wedding team

Your wedding party are there for practical and emotional support throughout the planning process and play keys roles on your wedding day.

So, choose wisely and task appropriately.

If you have a friend who gets flustered with public speaking, don’t suggest they be your master of ceremonies on the day. Play to your wedding party’s strengths when giving them responsibilities within your wedding. If they shine, your wedding will too.

For the ultimate guide on wedding party role outlines visit:


5: It’s all about getting enthused…

Every wedding journey is unique, and we love to inspire and enthuse our couples. To discover more on how you can approach the next stage of planning for your big day, I am offering couples a complementary 20-minute online inspiration session with Tigerlily, to talk all things wedding.

So to book in your complementary session please email me at 


Styling and shoot curation: Tigerlily wedding

Photography: Voyteck Photography